There were two things I knew about UK supermarket Iceland:
- Much of its produce is frozen (‘Iceland’, geddit?)
- Only mums can shop there
Ok, no. 2 isn’t strictly true, but linking the brand with motherhood has historically been a strong theme of their advertising. The tagline ‘That’s why mums go to Iceland’ will be familiar to UK shoppers.
It’s an association that relies on traditional gender stereotypes, and can wind up mums and dads alike with the assumption that only mothers take care of the shopping – and by extension the household.
Is this brand focus shifting? Perhaps. I noticed that Iceland had been working with a lot of mum bloggers on their #PowerOfFrozen campaign, so I figured it was business as usual. However, Iceland recently got in touch and wanted me to give them a try too.
However, the hook for this was football, more specifically the Euro 2016 contest. Is it another gender stereotype that dads love football? Of course it is. But the fact is that I do like football, especially international tournaments.
While I’ll be cheering on England, it’s also very English to have a plucky underdog – sorry, another plucky underdog – to support as well. What does this have to do with anything? Well (as I’m sure you know) Iceland is also a country, and for the very first time they have qualified for the European Championship. With a population of just 300,000 they are the smallest nation ever to do so.
So in a nice bit of brand synergy, Iceland (the supermarket) is sponsoring Iceland (the national football team) in the tournament – and they are making the case for them to be your second team.
Iceland (the supermarket) challenged me to prepare a football feast that you might eat while watching a game – using only ingredients from their supermarket.
Challenge accepted. The also sent me through a few Iceland (the supermarket) and Iceland (the national football team) themed goodies, the most useful of which was the shopping bag (pictured).
So that’s why this dad’s gone to Iceland.
My challenge had a few conditions, which included a couple of specific products, keeping it within a £30 budget, and making something that’s convenient to feed the masses while watching the footy.
While it would have been easy to create a ‘fake-away’ of Iceland ready meals, I thought I’d attempt to cook something. I only used one frozen ingredient and included a number of fresh ingredients available in the supermarket, including lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Anyway, this is what I came up with:
Chicken Fajitas Football Feast
Makes 12 wraps (we would serve 2-3 per person, or 1-2 per child).
Total prep and cooking time was about 30 mins.
Ingredients (from Iceland)
- Iceland Breaded Chicken Breast Fillet Strips (650g)
- Old El Paso Fajita kit (12 wraps, seasoning, salsa)
- Red onion x 2, diced
- Peppers x 3, sliced
- Lettuce (small head x 2), shredded
- Tomatoes x 3
- Cheese (mild cheddar), grated
- Red wine (Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon), large glass
- Olive oil (1 tbsp)
- Chillies (to taste), chopped
- Cook chicken in oven as per packet instructions (typically 180c for 20-25 mins)
- In the meantime, in a large pan heat oil on a medium flame. Fry onion for a few minutes, then add chillies.
- After 5 mins add the peppers and cook for a few more minutes, then the fajita seasoning. As the peppers cook, they will release water into the pan.
- Crank up the heat then add the wine, loosening any bits stuck the the pan
- While the pan is sizzling, shred the lettuce, slice the tomatoes, and grate the cheese, ready for fajita construction.
- Enough time should have elapsed to remove chicken from oven (but check properly cooked).
- Heat up wraps according to packet instructions.
- Construct your fajitas, combining all the elements as desired – for each one I started with pepper/onion mix, 1-2 pieces of chicken, lettuce, salsa, cheese, and topped with more lettuce.
- Roll up each one up, slice in the middle, and they’re ready to eat.
So there you have it – a tasty football feast using a mix of fresh and frozen ingredients from Iceland (the supermarket).
Now, this feast cost about £15 (with 2/3 bottle wine left over). I blew the remaining half of my budget on a mini beer keg (5l) of Budweiser (no, not the rancid US one but the original and far tastier Czech beer, aka Budvar).
I was happily surprised that I could make this dish using only ingredients from Iceland (the supermarket). I was also happily surprised that I – a dad – was welcome to shop in Iceland too 😉
They have also swayed me towards supporting Iceland (the national football team), who are 150-1 outsiders to win the tournament.
It reminded me of Euro ’92, when the similarly small Nordic country Denmark won – they were such outsiders that they hadn’t even qualified, and only got in when Yugoslavia was disqualified (for not existing as a country anymore). Denmark beat the mighty Germany 2-0 in (what I remember as) a thrilling final.
As the triumph of Leicester in the Premiership this year has shown, football remains a funny old game.
So c’mon England – and failing that, c’mon Iceland. Their first game is against Portugal on June 14th, a mismatch made in football tournament heaven.
Remember the Danes Iceland…
This is a sponsored post.